Progress Rail Progresses Overseas

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Etihad Rail photo

Progress Rail (a Caterpillar company) announced three initiatives involving autonomous operations and train control, at InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin.

Progress Rail and Etihad Rail, developer and operator of the United Arab Emirates National Railway Network, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to discuss potential opportunities for the development and deployment of an autonomous, zero-emissions and port-to-port concept “that could serve as the foundation for future rail operations globally.” The MOU, both said “aims to discuss areas of future collaboration for a potential fleet decarbonization, taking sustainable operations to the next level.”

Etihad Rail Stage 1. Photo courtesy AECOM.

In August 2022, Progress Rail delivered the first set of new, 4,600-hp EMD® SD70 diesel-electric locomotives to Etihad Rail. Progress rail noted. The locomotives are equipped with a pulse sand filtering system, “ensuring they operate at high effectiveness and efficiency when passing through desert regions. They also incorporate and comply with the latest technologies and standards for reducing emissions.”

“Etihad Rail is always keen to develop new relationships that drive growth of a modern, safe, and sustainable railway sector in the UAE and the region,” said Etihad Rail Passenger Sector Executive Director Ahmed Al Musawa. “By developing the UAE National Rail Network, Etihad Rail is already contributing to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70-80%. The agreement comes in line with Etihad Rail’s vision of safely and sustainably connecting regions and communities and integrating people and industries through rail transport.”

“Progress Rail is committed to providing sustainable solutions for customers like Etihad Rail,” commented Progress Rail President and CEO Marty Haycraft. “The foundational suite of technologies we are developing will serve railroads around the world with their decarbonization journey.”

In Italy, Progress Rail was awarded a contract from Ferrovie dell’Alto Adige to upgrade ERTMS L2 (European Rail Traffic Management System Level 2) on the Merano-Malles line. The project includes implementing an ERTMS L2 wayside system with custom functional specifications requested by the customer, plus renewal of the CBI (computer-based interlocking) system and implementation of CTC (centralized traffic control). 

“This is the first ERTMS L2 trackside contract for Progress Rail,” commented Progress Rail Sales Director-Italy Simone Carini. “This opportunity allows us to operate our ERTMS L2 trackside system and recognizes our expertise in developing new technologies for the global signaling industry.”

“Through strong teamwork, we are successfully developing signaling technologies for our customers,” added Progress Rail Managing Director-Italy Paolo Covoni. “While we are still in the homologation stage for this product, thanks to targeted, innovative proposals and adherence to required customizations, we are moving in the right direction with a quality system for our customers.”

In another new train control initiative, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Italiane Group) awarded Progress Rail a contract for an ECM ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 2 wayside system.

“This opportunity will help us further grow our signaling services in Italy as we develop ETCS Level 2 projects in the future,” commented Progress Rail Executive Vice President Infrastructure John Newman. “As an international provider of signal solutions and technologies, Progress Rail is devoted to the safety and enhancement of railway infrastructure.”

Progress Rail describes itself as “an international leader in developing and maintaining Control-Command and Signaling (CCS) and Traffic Management System (TMS) solutions for railway and mass transit systems, ranging from standalone interlocking systems to fully integrated CCS/TMS systems equipped with ERTMS/ETCS (L1 and L2/3). The ECM Radio Block Center (RBC9) system is our solution for ERTMS L2/3 signaling, with the highest level of safety, compliant with Baseline 3 Release 2 of ERTMS/ETCS specifications, and with high reliability and modularity.”

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